Why You Need an Attorney When Facing Federal Charges
Facing criminal accusations of any kind can be daunting as a conviction can result in severe penalties and affect your personal and professional lives. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is key to any sort of accusation even at the state level, but it is especially important if you are facing federal charges. Working with a reputable criminal defense attorney with extensive experience at the federal level can help you avoid a conviction or get reduced penalties.
Although certain crimes can lead to state-level investigations and trials, they may result in federal charges if you have violated any federal laws, affected interstate commerce, crossed state borders, or committed the crime on federal property. If federal agents conducted the investigation, the US Attorney can elect to prosecute you at the federal level; state DAs almost always defer. Under certain situations, you might also face charges at both the state and federal levels as “double jeopardy” does not apply to prosecutions by separate Sovereigns.
Federal Prosecution Has More Resources for Investigation
In addition to the seriousness of the charges, US governmental agencies that investigate your case have more substantial resources than state law enforcement and judicial systems. Their greater time, money, and personnel investment can help the prosecution establish the elements they need to convict your more easily. This means that building a defense can be even more challenging as the prosecution has fewer limitations on their ability to develop sufficient evidence to try to convict you.
Federal Convictions Have Severe Penalties
Depending on the type and severity of a federal crime, a jury can convict you of either a federal misdemeanor or felony. However, misdemeanor prosecutions are rare and misdemeanor options/alternatives are limited. In more serious cases, most of which are charged as felonies at the federal level, a conviction can lead to expensive fines of at least $250,000 or more, forfeiture of cash, real estate and personal property, and from several years to lifetime prison sentences. Some federal crimes require mandatory prison sentences; victim restitution is always mandatory in federal cases.
In addition to fines and prison sentences, you may also have to register as a sex offender if convicted of a federal sex crime, participate in mandatory sex offender treatment ( which is verified via polygraph), and be subject to conditions of supervised release after you’ve served your sentence, which is like being placed on Probation.
A federal conviction has also lasting consequences for your day-to-day life, as you may lose custody of your children, be unable to own a firearm or vote in federal elections and have difficulties finding a job or renting. A permanent criminal ( felony) record always has an impact on your professional and personal life, but one or more federal convictions can especially interfere with your opportunities.
Federal Laws Are Complex
Although state laws can be complex when you are not a lawyer, federal laws and judicial processes are even more difficult to understand. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the daunting system from the investigation by one or more government agencies to the grand jury, thorough trial and/or sentencing. (The federal sentencing guidelines used to calculate sentences are nuance, esoteric and daunting to anyone without familiarity with them.) Familiarity with, and knowledge of all applicable federal rules and procedures is central to increasing your chances of securing a positive outcome. Any missteps on your part can negatively impact your future.
Your Attorney Helps Protect Your Rights
With such high stakes, it is essential you work with a criminal defense attorney who has a deep and current understanding of federal law and how it can intersect with state laws. You should contact one as soon as you are under federal investigation or face federal charges, so your attorney can help you avoid answering questions you should not or advise whether you should or should not cooperate with law enforcement, when asked to---which often is the case in multi-defendant federal cases.
An experienced federal defense lawyer will carefully review your case and explain all your options before starting to build your defense. If there is a conviction, he can also evaluate whether you should file an appeal and how to do it effectively if necessary.
Why Choose Brad Bailey Law as Your Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
With nearly thirty-five years of legal practice before the U.S. District (Federal) Court ( and 40 years of practice overall) attorney Brad Bailey brings not only his highly successful track record of defending clients against federal charges, but also his directly relevant experience and know-how from having also served for many years as a federal prosecutor.
He has personally handled over 375 federal cases, defending clients against charges such as:
- Wire Fraud
- Mail Fraud
- Bank Fraud
- PPP Fraud
- Healthcare Fraud
- Ag ID
- Child Pornography
- Money Laundering
- Computer Crimes
- Narcotics Violations
As a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney and an excellent litigator, including in federal courts, attorney Bailey can help build a strong and aggressive defense to help protect your rights and your future. Our firm strives to obtain a dismissal of charges. If this is not an option, we aim for a reduction of charges to minimize your penalties. No matter the type of federal accusations you are facing, you should not try to contest them on your own and our team can make a positive difference.
Brad Bailey Law is a nationally recognized criminal defense law firm with extensive experience with federal cases. Contact us today at (617) 500-0252 to schedule an appointment for trusted legal representation in Boston.